JANESVILLE — The Janesville Police Department was to be one of six local law enforcement agencies to help with security for Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign stop here Monday morning, a Janesville police sergeant said Sunday.
Sgt. Joshua Norem said departments from Janesville, Beloit, Milton, Edgerton and Evansville will be involved along with the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin State Patrol.
This is Pence’s second visit this month to Wisconsin, which is considered a battleground state. He was set to speak at 11 a.m. Monday at Janesville’s Holiday Inn Express Conference Center.
President Donald Trump’s campaign webpage for the event says: “By registering for this event, you understand and expressly acknowledge that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. In attending the event, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and waive, release, and discharge Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; the host venue; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers from any and all liability under any theory, whether in negligence or otherwise, for any illness or injury.”
Trump’s challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, has led the president by 4 to 6 percentage points from May to September in the previous four Marquette University Law School polls of likely Wisconsin voters, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, also recently visited Wisconsin.
Norem, of Janesville’s police department, declined to share which roads might be closed Monday morning or whether Pence would fly into the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport, citing security reasons.
Pence flew into that airport before his visit to Darien.
Norem said he did not have a final number of Janesville officers who would be involved in Pence’s visit, saying the department likely will share that information after the event.
Planning for an event that is open to the public gives police more logistics to review than when a political figure holds a private event, Norem said.
He contrasted Monday’s event, where attendees must register in advance for tickets, with one in 2017, when Pence appeared with Janesville native and then-House Speaker Paul Ryan at Blain Supply.
Norem said police will work with the Secret Service on indoor and outdoor security, traffic control, the motorcade and crowd control.
When asked if police knew of any protests planned Monday, Norem said, “I’m not going to comment on active intelligence.”
He said he wanted to remind the public that parking will be limited for the event. Although he did not have a definitive number for event capacity, he said they won’t allow people in once the event is full.
“We’re hoping for a safe event,” he said.